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(Sunday, December 18th)
Final Score: Detroit 28, Oakland 27
Oakland, CA (Sports Network) - Calvin Johnson caught nine passes for a career- high 214 yards and two touchdowns, including a six-yard score with 39 seconds remaining to lift the Detroit Lions over the Oakland Raiders, 28-27.
Trailing 27-14 late in regulation, Matthew Stafford got the comeback started with a three-yard TD pass to Titus Young with five minutes to play.
After forcing Oakland to punt, Detroit took over at its own two-yard line with 2:14 left. Johnson made a nice 21-yard catch along the left sideline to put the ball at the 39. The star wide receiver then beat the coverage and caught a 48-yard pass over the middle. A defensive pass interference penalty put the Lions at the six-yard line. Stafford completed the seven-play, 98-yard march with a strike to Johnson in the back of the end zone for a 28-27 lead.
The Raiders moved the ball to the Detroit 47 with four seconds left on the clock. Sebastian Janikowski tried a 65-yard field goal as time expired, but it was blocked by Ndamukong Suh. The defensive tackle returned from a two-game suspension.
"When a team can go 98 yards on you to close out a game that's tough," Raiders head coach Hue Jackson said. "They didn't need a field goal. They needed a touchdown. They went 98 yards to score a touchdown and that's really tough."
The Lions (9-5) have won two in a row to keep pace in the NFC playoff race. Meanwhile, Oakland (7-7) remained one game back of Denver in the AFC West as the Broncos lost to the Patriots on Sunday.
Stafford completed 29-of-52 passes for 391 yards and four touchdowns, while Carson Palmer connected on 32-of-40 passes for 367 yards and a touchdown.
Oakland moved the ball to Detroit's 24 on its first possession of the game. But on 4th-and-1, Palmer overthrew a wide-open Denarius Moore in the end zone.
Marcel Reece seemed to break off a 56-yard run on the first play of the Raiders' next possession. It was determined that he ran out at midfield for a 26-yard gain. Reece caught an 18-yard pass a few plays later. A personal foul penalty on Detroit put the ball at the 12. Louis Murphy then took a reverse 12 yards for a score with 6:19 left.
The Lions promptly responded with a seven-play, 80-yard scoring drive, which Johnson capped with a 51-yard TD catch.
Oakland put together an impressive six-play, 94-yard scoring drive early in the second stanza. Darrius Heyward-Bey caught a 35-yard pass to give the home team some breathing room. A few plays later, Heyward-Bey recorded a 43-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown to make it 14-7 with 9:07 left until half.
Detroit tied the game on Nate Burleson's 39-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown with 1:14 to go.
Oakland used three completions to move the ball to the Detroit 34. Janikowski made a 46-yard field goal as time expired for a 17-14 lead at the break.
The Raiders came up with a big defensive stop late in the third quarter. On 3rd-and-1 from the Oakland 39, Kevin Smith was stopped at the line of scrimmage. Keiland Williams was stuffed on the next play, turning the ball over on downs.
Heyward-Bey then fumbled after a 29-yard catch-and-run, but the Lions failed to take advantage of the turnover.
Janikowski made a 51-yard field goal with 8:12 left in the fourth to give Oakland a 20-14 advantage.
On the ensuing Detroit possession, Stafford was sacked and lost the football. Aaron Curry picked up the loose ball and ran six yards into the end zone to make it 27-14.
Brandon Pettigrew and Johnson caught passes of 17 and 24 yards, respectively, before Young's TD catch.
"I'm proud of our team. We stuck together. We could have easily folded right after I fumbled that ball and they scored," said Stafford. "The guys rallied around each other, the defense did a great job of getting us the ball back and the offense went down there and put the dagger in it."
Oakland holds a 6-5 edge in the overall series between these franchises, but Detroit has won the last three matchups in the set...The Lions will have a winning season for the first time since 2000...Heyward-Bey caught eight passes for 155 yards and a score...Oakland running back Michael Bush carried the ball 18 times for 77 yards and caught seven passes for 62 yards...Burleson caught seven passes for 81 yards.
12/18 22:47:39 ET
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